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The ORCID iD is a permanent digital identifier that uniquely identifies a researcher and distinguishes them from all other researchers. The ORCID iD can be linked to academic information and one's research performance—affiliations, publications, research funding, research projects, peer review, memberships, grants, and more. Using ORCID iD, information can be shared with other systems to establish authority and visibility.

The ORCID iD has established itself as the de-facto international standard of a persistent identifier for the unique identification of researchers. It enables the precise assignment of individual research performance by research institutions and funding bodies as well as by publishers and in publication systems. Additionally, an ORCID iD can be used to reliably distinguish between individual researchers who have the same name as another person, who have changed their name, or who have changed institutions. In the associated profile, the so-called ORCID Record, researchers can provide extensive information regarding their research achievements and academic activities and link other academic profiles and websites. Registration and use of an ORCID iD are free of charge and researchers retain full control over the data.

Why an ORCID iD?

  1. Uniqueness! There are so many scientists worldwide that not everyone can be clearly identified by name alone. This is particularly well known to those whose names are shared by other people or who have changed their names before. It is also difficult for computers to distinguish between people based on their names alone; hence, misidentifications in databases and other systems occur very frequently and lead to various negative consequences. An ORCID iD provides a remedy for this—for the scientists themselves as well as for the many other actors in science.
  2. Save time! Import publication data from your own literature management system and from many different online sources and have new publications added automatically in the future when they appear. Data can also be added and maintained by your institution or by someone else on your behalf if you allow this. Additionally, there are more and more systems in which information about you can be automatically transferred when you enter your ORCID iD, for example in proposal submissions or profile pages of institutions. The constant manual entry of publication data in various places can thus become a thing of the past—in keeping with ORCID's motto “Enter once, reuse often!”
  3. Adaptability! Are you changing institutions or changing your name? This is no problem for ORCID iD. Since it is not bound to an institution (like a profile page at your institute, for example), you always take the ORCID iD with you in your scientific career. If you move to a new institution, you can enter your new affiliation as well as your previous jobs and affiliations. Changing your name is no problem either, as you can change your name and include previous names as important additional information; this way, research achievements made under the old name can also be clearly attributed.
  4. Visibility! Increase your visibility and findability by linking your ORCID iD to other systems and databases (e.g., Scopus, Web of Science/Publons, Gemeinsame Normdatei, DataCite, Crossref, and PubMed) and thus creating a link to existing data sets, profiles, or identifiers. Your ORCID iD, which you provide with information on academic activities and your own research performance, can also be used like a detailed business card or research profile, for example, when submitting proposals and applications.
  5. Control over data! You have full control over what information you provide and who can see it. For each piece of information, you can individually set whether it should be visible to the public, only to your own institution, or only to you. Only your name is always visible. Data protection and control over your own data are inherent principles of ORCID. ORCID also does not sell or use the deposited data for advertising purposes.

Last but not least, there are many advantages for scientific institutions when scientists use ORCID iDs. The specification of an ORCID iD can be integrated into the systems of an institution, for example, an institutional repository. However, the benefits go far beyond this: Publication data from ORCID records can be imported by researchers at the institution from a source authorised by the researchers and do not have to be tediously entered manually. This can be of great value in determining publication metrics. Additionally, institutions can correct or add to researchers' affiliation information (with their consent). Extensive information and the connection of ORCID iD with other systems and databases can also incidentally increase data quality, which can help an institution's libraries, for example. In the end, the researchers themselves benefit from all these applications and uses.

Sometimes scientists have created an ORCID iD at some point but have not actively used it. This may be the case, for example, when submitting an article to a journal where the ORCID iD was mandatory and was registered for that reason alone. You should therefore check whether you have already created an ORCID iD. If you do not find anything, for example when you enter your name at ORCID or in your mail archive, then check your earlier publications (especially journal articles) for the indication of an ORCID iD. If an ORCID iD already exists, you can log in with it (if necessary, using the forgotten password function). If there is no indication of an existing ORCID iD, register a new ORCID iD. The data entered will be checked for duplicates, so that you may also come across an existing ORCID iD again.

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You should only use one ORCID iD in any case. If you have found that you have two ORCID iDs, you can deactivate one ORCID iD so that the data are deleted and the record points to another ORCID iD. To do this, you need access to both ORCID iDs. If you find that you have another ORCID iD but no longer have the access data for it, you will need to contact ORCID. The details are explained in the linked ORCID Support article.

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You can always include your ORCID iD when you compile your personal data, for example, in your CV, on your personal website, or in your email signature.

In various use scenarios, the ORCID iD can simplify and speed up processes. For example, numerous publishers are already requesting the ORCID iD when submitting manuscripts. If the publisher is specified as a trusted party, it can obtain the necessary information from your ORCID record.

The data transfer can also take place between different systems that have implemented ORCID, such as your institution's research information system or repositories.

Research funders or third-party funding bodies also request the ORCID iD when submitting applications or reports to reduce the administrative burden.

BerlinUP supports the use of ORCID iD for author identification. The four supporting institutions of BerlinUP—Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin—are each member of the ORCID Germany Consortium, which enables, among other things, the verification and curation of researchers' ORCID records.

We recommend that all authors and contributors of publications in BerlinUP Journals and BerlinUP Books provide their ORCID iD. If you do not yet have an ORCID iD, we recommend that you register for one at ORCID.

BerlinUP Books

The ORCID iDs of all authors involved are already requested in the book proposal for publication in BerlinUP Books. The ORCID iDs are indicated within the title of the published book and included in the metadata.

The inclusion of the ORCID iDs in the metadata schemes of the repositories of the participating institutions is in preparation.

BerlinUP Journals

The specification of an ORCID iD of authors in BerlinUP Journals is already optionally possible via a separate metadata field. In this case, the ORCID iD is displayed in the metadata view of published articles and linked to the corresponding ORCID record. However, these ORCID iDs are not yet verified.

For the future, further functionalities are planned through a plug-in of the publication software Open Journals Systems, for which an extended IT infrastructure is to be built and continuously developed. We are aiming for the following additional services:

  • Verification of ORCID iDs with the consent of the authors
  • Transmission of verified ORCID iDs to the German National Library within the framework of mandatory submission
  • Enrichment of author profiles in BerlinUP Journals by importing ORCID records
  • Export of publication data from BerlinUP Journals to ORCID records

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The name ORCID was originally derived from Open Researcher and Contributor ID. However, this long form is no longer to be used, and ORCID is to stand as a proper name. Strictly speaking, ORCID refers to the organisation, ORCID iD to the identification number assigned by this organisation, and ORCID Record to the data set belonging to ORCID iD. Nevertheless, in practice, the terms are usually used synonymously for the identification number and the record together with their functions.

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Behind the ORCID iDs is ORCID, a nonprofit organisation established by the international scientific community. More than 1,200 institutions support ORCID through membership, including universities and colleges, research institutions, research funding agencies, publishers, scientific societies, government agencies, and commercial companies. ORCID is funded by the fees paid by these member institutions.

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